How dangerous are T-bone accidents?

t-bone car accident

Can poor infrastructure cause T-bone accidents?

When stop lights and traffic signals are not operational due to power-outages, fallen power lines, mechanical failure, maintenance, etc. there is often a sharp and immediate increase in the number of t-bone style collisions. City and county officials often scramble to install stop signs or put officers in place to direct traffic. Most states and municipalities have laws which dictate that if an intersection’s traffic lights are out of service the drivers of vehicles approaching such the intersection should proceed as though the intersection were controlled by stop signs on all approaches. However, during a traffic light failure many drivers ignore this rule and enter the intersection at a high rate of speed and t-bone accidents result.

T-Bone / Side-Impact Accident Statistics

Crash research and analysis of accident data have revealed that t-bone accidents represent 13% of all car accidents. And 18% of all fatal car accidents (in which one or more person is killed) are t-bone style collisions.

Deaths Due to T-bone Accidents

More than 50% of all automobile accident deaths involve a t-bone style collision. A broadside blow is more deadly than a head-on crash or rear-impact crash. In a right-angle impact collision the only thing separating between a person on the on-coming vehicle is glass and a thin door—no reinforcement or framing. For this reason side-impact, t-bone crashes are often fatal.

Those who are lucky enough to survive a t-bone impact collisions often suffer brain injuries, broken bones, internal injuries, and back, neck and spine injuries. Occupants on the struck side of the vehicle often sustain far worse injuries than those received in rear-end crashes.

Causes of Side-Impact Accidents

T-Bone collisions are frequently caused by the at-fault driver’s failure to yield or give right of way to other vehicles. Those t-bone accidents that take place in an intersection or at a four-way stop are often caused by the at-fault driver’s failure to obey traffic signals, stop signs, or other traffic signals.